Syria - UN Commission of Inquiry (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - October 25, 2012)
Q : With respect to Syria, Swiss magistrate Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry into the human rights violations in Syria, spoke today of crimes against humanity and war crimes (more than 32,000 deaths since the start of the uprising in March 2011). Is it in this context that the UN investigators probing the situation in Syria want to be received in Damascus by Bashar al-Assad?
A : France reaffirms its wholehearted support for the UN International Independent Commission of Inquiry. The work of this commission will be critical in combating the impunity of those responsible for the crimes perpetrated in Syria.
In accordance with the mandate conferred upon it by the UN Human Rights Council, which was extended until March 2013, the commission is continuing its work to investigate the crimes and human rights violations in Syria. As it indicated in its report published on August 15, 2012, the commission has gathered enough evidence to demonstrate that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Syria.
These conclusions are based on thousands of testimonies from the victims of these abuses and the actors involved in the conflict, but the regime has consistently refused to allow the commission access to the Syrian territory in spite of its repeated appeals.
We recommend that you contact the commission to find out more about the next steps that it’s likely to take.